One of the biggest privileges I have is the quality of people I get to hang out with here at Microsoft. Within the Visual Studio Languages GO team and the DLR team there is a loyal group of us (actually I am a noobie) who walk down from Redmond campus to the same Chinese place multiple times during the work week. Each time there is a subset of us that make it but almost always there is enough for a quorum and we head on down. There is not a single one of these lunches that goes by that I don't get new insights, a few new facts, a good laugh, and a few blog ideas. Not just technical stuff. A big subject of today's lunch was Dino's trip to Burning Man (wow, I want to go), but we also covered things like the economics of persistent data stores in the cloud, changes in the way Microsoft views Open Source, and Tina Fey's portrayal of Sarah Palin. It reminds me that much of our most important activities and learning are NOT in meeting rooms but are at lunches and in hallways.
I took some pictures around the table at lunch today. Ok, they don't look like a brain trust with their mouths full but believe me these guys are the sh*t.
Curt (IronCurt, Dev on IronPython and IronRuby), John (IronRuby PM), and Tomas (Lead Dev on IronRuby).
Jim (Tester IronRuby), Dino (Lead Dev on IronPython), and Harry (PM for IronPython)
Jimmy (PM on all sorts of IronRuby and IronPython stuff), Bill (PM for DLR), and me.
I can think of many times in my career when I would not attend these types of lunches. Too much work to do. Funny thing, I think I got more accomplished at lunch today than two of my scheduled meetings.